Contrary to popular belief, when our nose bleeds, we should not tilt our heads back, but forwards to expel the blood.
Epistaxis or nosebleeds can be due to many reasons. Although in most cases when our nose bleeds it stops after a few minutes without the intervention of a doctor or nurse, there are certain practices that must be taken into account in order not to lose too much blood.
In this article, We explain how to act when our nose bleeds.
Causes and types of nosebleeds
Inside the nose we find many small blood vessels that can be easily injured and cause bleeding. Thus, nosebleeds are more frequent in winter, because the entry of cold or dry air can irritate or dry the membranes that cover the nose. As a result, “scabs” can form which, when loosened, bleed.
If we add to this the number of viruses that “fly free” in the atmosphere, the picture deteriorates.
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In most cases, blood emanates from the tissue that separates the two sides of the nose where the weakest blood vessels are and are easily injured. However, when epistaxis occurs high in the septum, it is more difficult to control.
Nosebleeds are more common than you think, something unpleasant but above all harmless to the body. There are two types of epistaxis. :
- Anterior, occurs when blood flows only through one of the nostrils.
- Subsequently, it presents in the nose or in the upper part of the septum. The blood falls into the mouth or throat.
There are different reasons why our nose bleeds. The most common are:
- scratch with fingers
- blow hard
- Take a chance
- have an infection
We can also cite other triggers such as the allergic rhinitis, nasal surgery, having a foreign body in the nose, breathing in very cold, dry air, or chemical irritants.
In contrast, hypertensive people or people treated with anticoagulants and anti-inflammatories have a higher risk of bleeding.
¿What i need to do if my nose bleed?
This is a very common question and fortunately there are different techniques that can help us if we have a nosebleed.
1. Sit as comfortably as possible
Body position is very important to reduce bleeding.
- This first aid technique involves simply sitting on the couch or chair with your back and neck as straight as possible.
- Tilt your head slightly forward and place a towel or tissue under the nose.
- Contrary to popular belief, lying down is a bad idea because the blood “backs up” and goes through the throat.
2. Compress the nose
If the bleeding is not heavy, you can lightly press on the tip of the nose with your thumb and forefinger.
- It completely blocks the nostrils and exerts pressure. in damaged blood vessels.
- The blood flow will stop if you hold it down for about 10 minutes.
- If you continue to bleed, repeat the operation.
3. Cool off
- By lowering the body temperature, the blood will gradually stop emanating nostrils
- You can, for example, place an ice cube in your mouth or even apply it to the sides of your nose.
- Some people choose to place a cold (wet) compress on the septum and apply gentle pressure.
- Another interesting idea is to have an ice cream or drink a cold juice.
4. Wash the area
Cold water can be of great help when our nose bleeds.
- Without bowing his head too much in the sink, moisten the area well to prevent further bleeding.
- This technique (but with warm water) is also very good when theepistaxis has stopped and we want to clean up the area.
5. Go to a medical center
this last step only needed if bleeding does not stop after 20 minutesif it has been caused by an accident or head injury, or when you think you have broken your nose (for example, after a blow or injury).
It is also important to go to the emergency room if we have any illness that can lead to nosebleeds or if it is very abundant.
Can nosebleeds be prevented?
If you have had nosebleeds in recent months (sporadically and not due to trauma or blow) or if you want to prevent this from happening, we recommend that you pay attention to the following tips:
1. Avoid picking your nose
Putting fingers in the nostrils may be normal for many people, however, this habit gradually damages the delicate blood vessels there.
It could also lead to the release of blood clots, the introduction of bacteria that worsen the condition, or injury to the nails.
2. Eat more fiber
Although it seems strange, suffering from constipation can cause epistaxis due to exertion provided during defecation. This happens because the higher the pressure in the blood vessels, the more likely it is to bleed.
To avoid this, we recommend that you eat fiber-rich foods and drink more water daily.
3. Have a humidifier
Bleeding can be caused by breathing in very dry air. The use of these types of devices significantly modifies the humidity of the environments and prevents excessive dryness of the nose.
Don’t hesitate to install a humidifier during the winter months. If you don’t have one, simply place a metal container filled with water over the radiator or heater.
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